BBC orders ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ series from ‘Life on Mars’ writer

David Tennant is starring in a new TV series based on Around the World in Eighty Days.

Written by French writer Jules Verne, the original book was first published in 1873.

The series of eight one-hour episodes has been in development since the summer and it’s now got the BBC on board.

Best known for his roles in Broadchurch and Doctor Who, David Tennant will lead the cast as intrepid explorer Phileas Fogg.

He’ll be joined by rising French star Ibrahim Koma (Je Suis Daddy) as Passepartout, “an irrepressible chancer who falls into the role of Fogg’s ‘valet’”, and Leonie Benesch (The Crown) as Abigail Fix, “the young journalist determined to make her mark in a man’s world and emerge from the long shadow of her British establishment father.”

The official synopsis reads: “Following an outrageous bet, Fogg and his valet, Passepartout, take on the legendary journey of circumnavigating the globe in just 80 days, swiftly joined by aspiring journalist Abigail Fix, who seizes the chance to report on this extraordinary story.”

With a writing team led by Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) and Caleb Ranson (Child of Mine, Heartless), the series will begin filming in February.

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, commented: “This is such an exciting project. There is an amazing team both in front and behind the camera and we cannot wait to see their ambitious interpretation of this classic novel for a new generation.”

Around the World in Eighty Days was last brought to the screen 15 years ago as a Disney movie starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan.

David Tennant can also be seen early next year in ITV’s new true crime drama Des, playing a real-life serial killer.

Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days novel is available on Amazon.